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MEMORY SPELL #18 ❋ Karissa LaRocque

The way I feel is a muscle
Whose anatomy
I don’t understand

I heard it was gay
To move to the village
I heard it was gay to sleep with your window open
To have lots of vines
To fold your hands so carefully
To drink San Pellegrino in excess
To have a large, dirty mirror

It didn’t make a difference—
I closed my window
Broke all my fingers
Couldn’t hold the San Pellegrino
It spilled everywhere

I asked the dirty mirror:
How does this look from the outside?
What is going to happen to this feeling?

I heard being tough was hot so I took a selfie of my butt
In the dirty mirror
Holding hydrangeas
Which I bought for my sister
It got thirty likes, which isn’t bad
It hit thirty-nine and I thought:
I left out of respect
I am alone because of respect
Eventually I realised I sure could use a vacation from respecting myself

I stood in the middle of the karaoke dancefloor,
Thought I heard her wanting to slow dance
To the mess of our friends’ Friday nights
I stood in front of her bathroom mirror
Thought I heard my collarbones filling back in

I stood outside, and wanted to be more myself than ever before—
My whole body against the pull of the seasons
It got cold so I went back inside

I want to burn the bed of my garden
Like the blueberry fields outside my home town
Make the soil darker
I want to set my actual bed on fire
Make that soil darker
Change the chemical pH of the sheets
I want to be on the dancefloor
Planting seeds in holes I burn with a lighter
Closing my eyes in the karaoke lights of your 5am bathroom
Braiding vines out of my broken window
Pouring San Pellegrino over my fingers

I feel my muscles thicken
As we get older
When a car passes me
On the drive home
With one headlight
Burnt out
I wink back
I close both eyes
I flex my love for you
I raise a single hand